Chairman, NBCUniversal Studio Group & Chief Content Officer
As Chairman, NBCUniversal Studio Group and Chief Content Officer, Donna Langley, DBE oversees a unified content strategy across the broader portfolio, bringing together the organization’s Film and Television Studios. Langley oversees NBCUniversal’s suite of creative teams including Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation) and Universal Studio Group (Universal Television, Universal Content Productions, Universal Television Alternative Studios, Universal International Studios). In this expanded role, Langley continues to leverage her longstanding relationships with singular creatives to unlock a seamless cross-portfolio creative strategy including programming, distribution and marketing.
Prior to her elevation, Langley served as sole Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) from 2019-2023. In this role, Langley oversaw the global creative strategy and business operations for the motion picture group, and the production, marketing and distribution for film, and television content with DreamWorks Animation TV.
For nearly two decades Langley has distinguished the film group as the home to acclaimed and emerging creators who champion storytelling reflective of the global experience. Langley’s vision has resulted in four years of record global profit, and two of the most profitable years in the studio’s 107-year history. Under Langley’s strategic leadership, the film group brokered historic agreements during the COVID-19 pandemic securing a thriving future for the film distribution ecosystem with a new revenue model that has now crossed $1 billion.
From 2013-2019, Langley served as Chairman of Universal Pictures where she engineered a strategic slate of all-audience tentpoles, breakthrough comedies, and pop-culture hit horror films. During her tenure, Langley led Focus Features’ global realignment with Universal Pictures International and oversaw the studio’s successful integration of DreamWorks Animation.
Langley has positioned Universal as a leader in the marketplace by successfully expanding and reinvigorating its core franchises including Fast & Furious, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon, Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect, and Illumination’s Despicable Me/Minions—the biggest animated franchise of all time —as well as Fifty Shades of Grey, Mamma Mia!, Halloween and The Purge. In 2023 alone, with an unparalleled focus on building a diverse slate portfolio, Langley led the motion picture group through the birth of new franchises, including M3GAN, Violent Night, Illumination’s Super Mario Bros. Movie, and more.
In addition to Universal’s diverse franchise portfolio strategy, Langley has championed films tapping into the cultural zeitgeist with commercial hits like Straight Outta Compton, Get Out, Bridesmaids, Queen & Slim, and Focus Features standouts like Downton Abbey and Harriet.
Through Langley’s stewardship, Universal has helped redefine global popular culture, ensuring that billions of people around the world have access to stories by artists who look like them, who see them, and who celebrate them. In the process, she has been part of the vanguard of change in Hollywood, proving that racial and gender diversity and inclusion in casting, hiring and storytelling is not just morally right, but also intelligent business.
Diversity and inclusion have long been hallmarks of Langley’s career, and under her leadership UFEG launched its Global Talent Development & Inclusion department making Universal the first and only major studio addressing these issues with one team delving into both creative and workforce.
Over the years, Langley has been recognized for her impact on the film and entertainment industry. A native of the United Kingdom, she is the first British female to run a major Hollywood studio and was awarded a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) title by the Queen in her 2020 New Year’s Honour List. The honour recognizes Langley’s many accomplishments in redefining popular culture and her efforts to expand networks and opportunities for women and people of color in the entertainment industry, while also championing organizations dedicated to providing access, networks, and pathways to success, for all people.
As a result of her leadership throughout the entertainment industry’s tumultuous year, NBCUniversal was recognized for the first time as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” of 2021. In 2022, Langley was personally named among Business Insider’s “10 People Transforming Business,” one of The Hollywood Reporter’s “Entertainment Power 100” and was included in “Variety 500” honoring influential business leaders shaping the industry.
Langley is the recipient of 2023 UCLA’s Game Changer Award; 2018 Producers Guild of America’s Milestone Award; the 2016 Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Pioneer of the Year Award; and the 2014 Women in Film’s Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.
A passionate advocate for mentorship and female empowerment, Langley is an Ambassador for Vital Voices Global Ambassadors Program and has served on the organization’s Board of Directors since 2013. She was also a key founder of The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Film Mentorship program.
Langley is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Television Academy. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute, Motion Picture Association, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Board of Councilors, and SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Entertainment Industry Council.